Re: maize in Europe and India: a twisted tale

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal (
Thu, 09 Jan 1997 14:11:07 GMT (Hu McCulloch) wrote:

>Another possibility that shouldn't be overlooked is Africa. There is
>some literature on pre-Columbian maize in Africa (sorry, I don't have
>the page reference or title, but it's somewhere in Fingerhut's recent book on
>diffusion). Perhaps Africans, a la Van Sertima, brought maize back across
>the Atlantic, and then the Hindus picked it up from them, either directly
>or via Arabs. Mocha was a big Arabian seaport (home of Mocha Chip Ice
>Cream! :-), and in India, maize is today called, roughly, Mocha Sorghum.
>(makke-jola in Kannada, makka in Hindi, mokka jonna in Telegu, makaa or
>makkai in Northern India, mecca cholam in Tamil, etc.)

FWIW, in Catalan, maize/corn is called "blat de moro", "moresc",
`Moorish [wheat]' or "blat de l'India", `Indian wheat'. Such names
should of course be interpreted with care. To mention fowl again: in
Catalan, "turkey" is called "gall dindi" (Fr. "dinde"), `Indian cock'
[rooster, if you prefer], and the animal is of course called "turkey"
in English.

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal ~ ~
Amsterdam _____________ ~ ~ |_____________|||

========================== Ce .sig n'est pas une .cig